The 2019 Glyndebourne Festival begins this week, with performances of Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust and Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia. Featuring several Askonas Holt artists, the festival will later present Massenet’s Cendrillon, Dvořák’s Rusalka, Handel’s Rinaldo and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.
Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare and British bass-baritone Ashley Riches both make their festival debuts: the former conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra in Annabel Arden’s stylish production of Il barbiere; the latter as Brander in Glyndebourne’s first ever staging of La damnation de Faust. Faust is conducted by Music Director Robin Ticciati, who also conducts Melly Still’s evocative production of Rusalka later in the season.
Two exciting young artists return following celebrated debuts in recent seasons. Moldovan baritone Andrey Zhilikhovsky – first seen at the festival in 2017, as Malatesta in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale – returns as the cunning barber Figaro, a role with which he made his hugely successful US opera debut last year: “From his bold and flashy entrance to the very last bow, Figaro steals every scene he even passingly graces. Andrey Zhilikhovsky has an incredible baritone voice and plays the cocksure barber winningly.” (Broadway World)
Russian soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan also made her debut at Glyndebourne in 2017, as Violetta in La traviata. Now one of her signature roles, critics praised her “dark beauty of tone and a wonderful feel for text and character” (The Guardian). She continues what has been a stellar season with a return for the role of Armida in Rinaldo. Conducted by Maxim Emelyanychev and directed by Robert Carsen, the cast also includes Tim Mead, Elizabeth DeShong and Jakub Józef Orliński.
Originally conceived and directed for the Glyndebourne Tour by Fiona Shaw, Massenet’s Cendrillon is revived and directed for the festival by Fiona Dunn, with conductor John Wilson, Danielle de Niese in the title role and Kate Lindsey as her Prince. At its premiere, the production was hailed as being “spun from magic and dreams, and shaped by enchantment and imagination…” (The Times).
Brindley Sherratt also returns, singing Sarastro in the festival’s first new production of Die Zauberflöte in over a decade. Ryan Wigglesworth conducts the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with direction from Barbe & Doucet.
As in previous years, several performances will be available to watch in cinemas and online: Cendrillon, Il barbiere di Siviglia and Die Zauberflöte. More information here.
Further information on all productions can be found on the Glyndebourne website: